Crystal checkers give DeYoung IMCA Modified wins in 30 straight seasons

Myron DeYoung became the first driver to win Friesen Performance IMCA Modified features in 30 consecutive seasons when he took the May 18 checkers at home track Crystal Motor Speedway. (Photo by Chris Johnston)

CRYSTAL, Mich. (May 18, 2024) – Myron DeYoung might have raced his way into the IMCA record book Saturday night but he’ll be the first person to tell you he didn’t get there all by himself.

DeYoung became the first driver to win a Friesen Performance IMCA Modified weekly feature in 30 consecutive seasons, topping the May 18 main event at home track Crystal Motor Speedway.

“Winning the regional championship last year was big, but this was an even bigger accomplishment once I started thinking about it,” he said the next day. “It’s humbling to think about all the people who have helped so I can go out and win races. I didn’t do this by myself.”

DeYoung earned the first of what is now 144 career victories in the class in 1995. There have been some lean seasons since but he’s added at least one IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing win every year since.

Along with the 2023 DeVilbiss Racing Chassis Eastern Region crown, DeYoung has also compiled nine track titles – eight of them at Crystal – plus three special series and seven Michigan State championships.

His single-season best 14 win totals came in 2005 and again last year.

“I have been very fortunate to have won a lot of races in a lot of states. I had 20 friends make the trip from Michigan to see me win Spring Nationals at Beatrice (in 2004) and that is one of those wins that has always meant a lot to me,” said DeYoung who lost many of those trophies, presentation checks and pictures in a house fire several years ago. “I was always told I had the determination to keep doing it and keep winning, but I never thought I’d be racing this long.”

A second-generation driver, DeYoung got to learn from the best on the local dirt ovals.

“I ran a street stock that I shared with my brother Johnny one season. He ran one track and I ran another,” he said, recalling a talking-to from Dick Stemler. “I was really fast but I was rough and one night Dick came over, sat me down and told me I was going to be good, I just had to learn how to drive.”

Both DeYoung and his father drove S & B Race Cars Modifieds built by Rick Stout, IMCA’s 1995 national champion.

“I got to race with and learn from Rick and a lot of other very good drivers in those days,” said DeYoung. “For the first 20 or so years we raced, we were just out there having fun. We didn’t keep notes or write down where we started and how we finished, we just raced.”

Jeff Green is in charge of the nightly record keeping now and his notes show that DeYoung worked his way to the front after starting 10th. Son Brenten was the hard charger, racing from 16th to fourth.

“Everything went the way it needed to. We got through there good, we were fast, we were able to make things happen and Brenten had a good night, too,” he said. “And it couldn’t have happened at a better place. There were lots of fans there and there were lots of friends there. There couldn’t have been a better place to do this than at Crystal.”

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